Bahrain follows Saudi lead in banishing pro-Hezbollah Lebanese

Shortly after the Saudi statement was released, Bahrain decided to deport nearly a dozen Lebanese families allegedly affiliated with Hezbollah.

Shi'ite Muslims march on streets with swords during Ashura procession in downtown Manama, Bahrain (photo credit: REUTERS)
Shi'ite Muslims march on streets with swords during Ashura procession in downtown Manama, Bahrain
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Saudi Interior Ministry released a statement on Sunday announcing that the kingdom's residents who support Hezbollah or operate within its ranks would be deported from Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi move is based, according to the statement, on the recent Gulf Cooperation Council's decision to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization as well as on the Tunisia Declaration – a declaration adopted by Arab interior ministers on March 2, condemning the "dangerous operations committed by Hezbollah in order to destabilize security and peace in several Arab states."
"Any Saudi citizen or resident who is affiliated with Hezbollah, supports it, spreads its propaganda, contributes to the organization, communicates with it or gives refuge to its members would face heavy sanctions according to terror-funding laws,” the Saudi statement read. “Any resident charged with such crimes would be expelled from Saudi Arabia."
Arab League labels Hezbollah terrorist organization
Shortly after the Saudi statement was released, Bahrain decided to deport nearly a dozen Lebanese families allegedly affiliated with Hezbollah. According to media reports, Bahraini authorities gave the families a 24-hour ultimatum to leave the country.
On Friday, the Arab League labeled Hezbollah a terrorist organization, as tensions rise between Sunni and Shi'ite powers across the Middle East.
Sectarian wars are raging in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and the League has become a forum for the mostly Sunni Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, to air their grievances with Shi'ite power Iran, the major backer of Hezbollah and other Shi'ite groups in the region.

Reuters contributed to this report.